Every summer, Sol Systems provides an opportunity for students that are passionate about the environment, sustainability, and renewable energy, to join us for our Summer Intern Program. During this time, we offer roles across our various teams such as Structured Finance, Asset Management, Investments, Business Development, Engineering, and more.
Our interns develop skills to succeed in the solar industry while building relationships and forming a community of peers within the world of renewable energy. Exemplifying this, are our many former interns that have moved into full-time roles at Sol. As we approach our 2022 Summer Intern Program (which we’re hiring for!), we asked a few of these former Sol interns about their experience, as well as advice for those looking to join our intern program in the future.
When did your internship with Sol begin? What was your greatest takeaway from the experience and what did you appreciate the most?
Callie – I started interning at Sol Systems in October 2020. Due to the pandemic, I was virtually onboarded during that fall. I was so appreciative of the warm welcome that I received even though everyone was virtual. I had the opportunity to go on “coffee chats” with members of my team and other teams throughout Sol. This allowed me to make connections across the company and learn about my colleagues’ current and previous experience in the industry. Everyone I spoke with was so kind and willing to support my transition into my intern role in any way they could.
One of my greatest takeaways from my internship at Sol was my ability to learn and better understand the different facets of the solar industry. While I had some previous solar experience in a policy-focused role, the opportunity to learn from and directly interact with the different business lines at Sol provided me with a more holistic understanding of the key components of the solar industry and the ways in which it’s constantly evolving.
Josh – I started my internship January 2021 on the Sol Customer Solutions (SCS) team (Sol’s Commercial/Industrial Development Wing), where I worked as a Business Development Analyst. Throughout my internship, I analyzed potential DG scale projects solar plus storage projects, responded to RFPs, and assisted in outreach to potential customers. SCS immediately took me under their wing and treated me as a friend and colleague. Sol really takes the time and effort to train their interns and teach them valuable skills in the solar space. When I joined, I had little confidence in my Excel abilities and my knowledge in solar was limited to one market. At the conclusion of my internship, I knew several markets at an expert level and was fully capable of modeling complex portfolios in Excel. I will forever be grateful for everyone on the SCS team who helped take the time to teach me and shape me into the renewable energy professional I am today.
Lauren -I first joined Sol as a Project Delivery Intern in the summer of 2018, returning to that role in 2019 before transitioning to the engineering team, where I eventually joined full time as a Development Engineer.
I walked away from my first summer at Sol knowing I wanted to stay in the solar industry, which was a huge accomplishment after three years of indecision in undergrad. At the end of my internship, I had a better idea of what areas of solar I was interested in, what questions to ask, and gained a better understanding of the industry as a whole. One of the things I appreciated the most was the sense of community in the office. I worked with a fantastic team who taught me a lot and were always happy to answer my (very many) questions. To this day, as it was when I was an intern, my team makes me excited to come to work each morning.
How was your role at Sol different from other intern roles you’ve held in the past?
Callie – A special part of Sol’s internship program is the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and gain real responsibility. You are not brought on as an intern to do mindless, miniscule tasks. When you show that you are intellectually curious and motivated to learn, you have the unique ability to work on and own projects. As an intern, I had the privilege of working on projects in multiple environmental commodities markets during which I spoke directly with clients, created and shared weekly reports, wrote blog posts, and much more.
Josh – Sol Systems will give you work that will make you a serious value add to the team. In the past, I had interned in the public and private sector for renewable energy developers, feeling pigeonholed by doing data entry tasks or tasks that were mundane. At Sol, I was thoroughly trained and then given challenging projects that made me feel needed and important. My manager took genuine interest in my feedback and placed me on projects that excited me. Sol values its interns and believes in them.
Lauren -Through my internship at Sol, I learned how each business unit functioned, which helped me understand the ins and outs of the industry. Sol organized presentations for each week for the interns to get to know everyone and what they did at the company. That insight was not something I had seen at past internships and was valuable in helping me succeed at my role. It also made my work feel more meaningful and gave me the information to figure out where I would fit in best when I entered the industry full time.
What advice would you give to prospective interns?
Callie – My biggest piece of advice for a prospective intern is to come in with the excitement to learn. There are so many incredible opportunities to learn about the solar industry, colleagues’ career experiences, and what it’s like to work in an exciting, fast-paced environment. Try to talk with many different people throughout the company and don’t shy away from asking questions. The Sol Team wants to support you and see you succeed in your role!
Josh – Come to Sol ready to learn. Everyone at Sol is incredibly smart and approachable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to set up coffee chats with people who are not on your team. Everyone wants to see you succeed and will help you work on projects that spark your interests. They will also be able to tell you about their own experience in the solar industry, as well as giving you the down-low on some must visit spots in DC!
Lauren – Learn as much as possible and involve yourself in projects or initiatives that interest you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, learn about what other teams are doing, and dig in deeper on the aspects of your internship that interest you the most. You’ll get out of it what you’re willing to put in, even if that means stepping out of your comfort zone.
Sol’s summer intern program runs from May to August with many interns staying on board throughout the year. If you have are interested in applying to our summer intern program, check out the open roles on our careers page, or reach out to our HR team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.